* The People's Bank of China said payment institutions should obtain licenses before providing QR code-powered payment services to clients, and added that it would set limits on individual clients' QR code payment businesses, Reuters reported.
* Miao Jianmin, president and vice chairman of People's Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd., was appointed as chairman of the group for a term of three years, Reuters reported. The appointment is pending approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
* Tang Shuangning stepped down as chairman and nonexecutive director of China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd., effective Dec. 27.
* China issued 4.36 trillion yuan worth of local government bonds in 2017, down nearly 30% from 2016, the Securities Daily reported. Industry sources estimate that local government bonds may slightly increase to 4.65 trillion yuan in 2018.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Nippon Life Insurance Co. completed its acquisition of a 24.75% stake in asset management firm TCW Group Inc. from Carlyle Group LP.
* A panel set up under Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to reform Shoko Chukin Bank Ltd. said there is a need to relaunch the stalled privatization of the state lender, which was rocked by a scandal over irregular loans, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.
* Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. has set the target date for the merger of its asset management business with the group asset management unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. to Oct. 1, 2018.
* KB Kookmin Bank reduced the number of vice presidents to three from eight in an organizational reshuffle, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
* K BANK Co. Ltd. is facing a delay in its plan to increase capital by 150 billion won or more before the end of the year due to lukewarm shareholder interest, Money Today reported. Legislation to relax bank ownership rules for internet banks has remained on hold.
* KASIKORN Research expects that credit card business in Thailand will improve in 2018 in line with the country's economic situation while credit card spending in 2018 should grow by more than 6%, up from the expected growth in 2017 of 4.5%, Manager Daily reported.
* Infobank reported that a branch office of PT Bank J Trust Indonesia Tbk was sealed by the Surakarta district court in Indonesia due to a dispute involving mutual funds with Century Bank, the former name of J Trust.
* Seven banks have formed a consortium to fund the development of the Trans-Sumatra toll road worth 8.7 trillion rupiah, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The banks in the consortium include PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk, PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk, PT Bank Maybank Indonesia Tbk, Bank ICBC Indonesia and PT Bank Permata Tbk.
* Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank lowered its nonperforming asset ratio to 4.4% from 6.68% earlier in the year after undergoing a Vietnamese government-approved restructuring scheme, Vietnam News Agency reported. The lender is expected to bring the NPA ratio under 3% in 2018, the publication noted.
* National Insurance Co. Ltd. deferred plans to launch its IPO until the 2018-2019 fiscal year, owing to the government's preoccupation with "budget preparations," Business Standard reported, citing K. Sanath Kumar, the insurance firm's chairman. The company had earlier planned to launch the IPO by March 2018, the publication noted.
* Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. obtained regulatory approval to commence its general and health insurance operations. The company received second-stage approval in April.
* State Bank of India said its board approved a plan to raise 80 billion rupees of Additional Tier 1 capital through the issuance of a number of debt instruments, including masala bonds, to meet Basel III capital norms.
* The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has allowed overseas insurance companies to begin operations at the Gujarat, India-based GIFT International Financial Services Center, Press Trust of India reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Australian banks and other lenders paid more than A$20 million in behavior-related fines in the last five years, which have been directed to financial literacy funds, The Australian reported. The amount will increase soon with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and National Australia Bank Ltd. settling for a A$50 million fine each in a benchmark interest rate-rigging case, the publication noted.
* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission filed the third amended statement of claim in its rate-rigging case against Westpac Banking Corp., alleging there was a conflict of interest between the lender and its clients, The Australian reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Sudan eyes currency devaluation; Liberians head to polls; Mozambique cuts rates
Europe: Credit Suisse unveils US tax law impact; Natixis sells stake in CACEIS
Latin America: BCI estimates loss due to US tax reform; Argentina central bank holds key rate
North America: 2 Illinois banks ink $41.1M deal; Kansas' Community Bancorp to acquire Shelbank
North America Insurance: Chubb expects $250M gain from tax reform; GEICO's private auto loss ratio rises
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